Thursday, December 08, 2005

carnival of feminists part 4

Oh, how I love finals weeks. More than just finals week, singular, it lasts for about 3 weeks here. Thus, no real blogging (unless procrastination seriously sets in) until after my last final on the 19th.

Until then, go forth to The Fourth Carnival Of The Feminists over at Happy Feminist. Good stuff, man. Especially if you're wanting to procrastinate and avoid creating a 20-30-minute-long presentation, numerous 10-12 page papers, and/or studying for your final exam. Go. Now.

I, on the other hand, will go back to scanning in a plethora of uber-gendered and therefore infuriating ads from such magazines as Sports Illustrated, Fitness, ESPN The Magazine, etc. and creating a fantabulous powerpoint from said advertisements. 5 days of class left, 1 day of final exams...........

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Yes, yes, more proof of our rape culture.
It's not that I'm especially obsessed with finding these articles of proof, it's just that they're so fucking prevalent that I can't help but notice them. So I'm sorry if this blog has become Rape Culture Central lately, but...what can I say? It needs to be blogged about, so I'll be the one to do it.

Anyway, in researching for my gender in sport paper, I re-found this site,, which has a huge collection of offensively gendered/stereotypical/heterosexist/racist/etc ads, and criticisms of each trope of advertisements. (A really good site, well worth a look.)

I then found what I presume to be the initial prototype for the site, that explains the "why" of the site's creation.

I hate hate hate the subtlety of the advertising industry and how it plays so perfectly into the hands of the patriarchy. But I can even somewhat handle their being the patriarchy's bitch. What I cannot handle are the following "cartoons" that were, according to the site, featured in magazines such as Playboy, Hustler, and others.

Disgusting is really all I can say about them:

(which was actually something featured on Dr. Phil the other day...I can't find a link to it though, sorry kids)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

holy rape culture, batman

I've been bitching about this and pointing people toward it since it came out last week, yet somehow, I've neglected to blog on it. So here goes, short and sweet:

Amnesty International poll shows that 1/3 of people (in the UK) believe a woman can be to blame for "getting herself raped."

You are at least partially to blame for getting raped if you have:
-been drinking
-worn "provocative" clothing
-not clearly and/or forcefully enunciated the word "no"
-had sex with people before
-done something "obviously" unsafe (e.g. walking alone on the street at night, etc.)

You'd think that the feminist community would rise up and do something about this, or at least denounce the 1/3 of people in the UK that participate in this victim-blaming bullshit.
And, for the most part, a lot of them have. Amanda at Pandagon posted a nice piece on this bullshit, Nick Kiddle at Alas wrote on victim-blaming bullshit (though not directly tied in to the Amnesty poll), Jill at Feministe responded to Nick's post on Alas, and Jessica at feministing blogs on the poll as well.

The comments on the first three (pandagon, feministe, and alas) are worth reading through, if only to make your blood boil with more victim-blaming bullshit coming from self-avowed "feminists".

Ok, now I'm going to do my real work. I swear.

ayotte hearings started today

I need to be writing my 2 papers that are due tomorrow, not blogging, but for archival's sake, I felt I needed to post something about this today...

(Activists on both sides outside the Supreme Court today.)

Arguments on the Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England started today. (An AP article)

I'm cautiously optimistic. After all, the article starts out with this:
The Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday with a New Hampshire law that requires a parent to be told before a daughter ends her pregnancy, with no hint the justices were ready for a dramatic retreat on abortion rights under their new chief.

John Roberts, newly appointed Chief Justice, of course, was an asshat, not quite understanding that SCOTUS cases set precedents for the entire country to follow, and while they may be based on specific individual cases, have repercussions far, far exceeding said individuals. He was complaining that the specific case didn't involve a "medical emergency," which is the main contention against the parental notification bullshit laws in New Hampshire, but I suppose he could've been worse...

Scalia, too, was an asshat, basically arguing that the requirement of a judge's permission to override the parental notification thing "takes 30 seconds," and so, does not constitute an undue burden.
Jennifer Dalven (one of my new heroes) argued against this bullshit in a filing by PPNNE, though: "In an emergency, a woman needs to go to the hospital not a courthouse."

Most of the other justices, though, actually did their jobs and critically looked at the information presented. Let's just hope that most of them have working consciences. Unlike Scalia.

Well, it should be interesting, at least...........

samsung's gender regime

hat tip to feministing for this one...

Samsung is marketing a new cell phone to women. A "girly" phone, if you will.

Not only is it pink and sparkly (ew), but it has new, "girly" features, like a shopping list-maker, biorhythms, horoscopes, a fat calculator, and an ovulation calendar.

I'm not gonna lie -- the ovulation calendar's a good idea. Probably the only decent feature of the phone. (Even if the article does poo-poo it, implying that it's ridiculous for your phone to know when it's your time of the month...always keeping up the facade of menstruation-as-dirty/embarrassing, that patriarchy is...)

But seriously. The rest of it is fucking ridiculous. Horoscopes? A fucking fat calculator? I thought we were supposed to be empowering women, helping them not to hate their bodies, not invalidating and trivializing their lives. Silly me. I must've forgotten that:

Sunday, November 27, 2005

best thing EVER

Pam over at Pandagon posted about this Baptist pastor in DC named Willie Wilson who thinks the world is being taken over by lesbians.
No, seriously.

Real Quotes:
"Lesbianism is about to take over our community. I'm talking about young girls. My son in high school last year tried to go to the prom. He said, 'Dad, I ain't got nobody to take to the prom because all the girls in my class are gay. Ain't but two of 'em straight, and both of them ugly.'"
"But … women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain't real. That thing ain't got no feeling in it. It ain't natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it's something wrong with that. Your butt ain't made for that."
"No wonder your behind is bleeding. You can't make no connection with a screw and another screw. You need a screw and a nut."
"The situation is so grave that it should be declared a national emergency."

A great, great sermon, if you ask me.
There are more links at the pandagon post linked to above, but there's a Flash animation that someone made over at that's absolutely fucking fabulous, and you MUST check it out.
Go here for the Flash animation.

(Note: I had to re-load the page numerous times before I got the whole thing to play...if it doesn't loop back to the beginning, you haven't heard the whole thing yet. And believe me, you NEED to hear the whole thing.)

Also, I don't know what kind of (bad) lesbian porn he's been watching, but usually, when lesbians strap themselves up, the point of entry is the vagina, not the anus. I'm not saying that some lesbians don't also enjoy the anal sex, but that's not really the "typical" lesbian sex act. I think he may be getting his homosexuals mixed up a bit...

preventing rape

(got this from my friend's livejournal. thought it needed repeating here.)

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.
Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all.

instead of (and/or in addition to) that bullshit, how about:

if a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
if a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
if a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
if a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
if a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
if a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
if a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
if a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
if a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
if a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
if a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
if a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
if a woman exists, don't rape her.

if a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
if your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
if your step-daughter is watching tv, don't rape her.
if you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
if your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.

if your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
if your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.

tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.

don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, repost it. It's that important.

Friday, November 18, 2005

puppy blogging

My dad sent me this absolutely adorable picture of my dog today. It snowed in western NY last night/today.
It's been rainy and cold in western Massachusetts.
Fucking New England.

Anyway, Bonnie (the dog) absolutely loves the snow:

Thursday, November 17, 2005

one more reason i'll never move to alabama

On October 19, 2005, Billy Sanford, a 52-year-old gay man in Montgomery, Alabama, was bludgeoned into a coma by a 26-year-old claiming 'gay panic'.

Marcus Dewayne Kelley, a handyman for Sanford and his roommate, told Montgomery detectives he hit Sanford in the head with a hammer because the older man wouldn’t stop making sexual advances toward him.

Not only is this most likely not true (the man had a "roommate," and has been described as "a sweet spirit, a gentle, non-violent soul"), it's sickening that this guy is actually using his fear of gay people as a defense.

Sanford's prognosis is not good. Doctors don't really have much hope for his survival, and even if he does, there will be significant brain damage.

And I know this makes me sound awful, but it's times like these that I'm glad I'm a straight-looking dyke in Massachusetts and/or Western New York. If I were a gay man in these parts, or any kind of queer living below the Mason-Dixon line...I don't even want to think about what I'd have to deal with.

This guy, Kelley, wasn't brought in until very recently. That's a month after the attack happened.
And they're not even charging it as a hate crime, which everyone in their right mind knows it was, because Alabama doesn't include sexual orientation in their hate crime statute. It's attempted murder, period. Which isn't exactly like they're letting him off, but still.

Howard Bayless of Equality Alabama cuts straight to the core:

“If it were a straight person who hit on someone of the opposite sex, he would have gotten a ‘No, thank you,’ and that would have been the end of it.

We don’t get a polite ‘No, thank you.’ We get clubbed with a hammer,” Bayless continued. “I hope the district attorney prosecutes this to the highest degree.”

reproductive justice for all the privileged

Via my favourite blog (well, one of 'em), mediagirl, I found this account of reproductive INjustice, posted to Revolution Online a few months ago.

It's a perfect example of how, even in a country where abortion is still technically legal, where all citizens theoretically have equal reproductive rights, there are still huge, huge disparities exist between the opportunities of a middle/upper class white woman to terminate her pregnancy and the opportunities of a lower-income and/or minority woman to terminate her pregnancy.

In this specific case:
"Last October, Gabriela Flores [a young immigrant woman working for $150/week in the fields in South Carolina] ended her 16-week pregnancy by taking misoprostol pills sent by her sister from Mexico. She had no choice but to risk her life by taking illegally imported drugs, without any doctor's supervision, because although abortion is technically legal in South Carolina, in Gabriela's situation it may as well have been illegal."

The reasons for this de facto illegality?
Why, every little thing the anti-choice movement has been pushing onto and through the agenda for years.
"South Carolina laws force women to get permission from their husbands, listen to biased anti-abortion "counseling" riddled with misinformation, and to undergo a mandatory waiting period. And abortions after 13 weeks are so restricted that no provider in the state will offer them."

You'd think this would be bad enough. This woman having to perform a dangerous abortion on herself -- a punishable offense in South Carolina -- and deal with the emotional realities of burying the dead fetus she expelled from her body in her backyard. That would be punishment enough for a woman so fucked by the patriarchy, no?

No. Not quite.

Somebody tipped off the police that she'd birthed a live fetus (she hadn't, nor could a 16-wk-old fetus live outside the mother's womb) and buried it in her backyard. They dug up the fetus and wanted to charge Flores with murder. Had they been able to prove (or manufacture proof) that the fetus was alive when it exited her body, or that it was even viable outside her womb, this would have easily made it through the courts.
Since they couldn't do this, they had to charge her with a self-performed abortion. Because, obviously, she had the choice and privilege to travel 3 hours and spend 2 days getting the abortion that isn't provided anywhere in the state of South Carolina.

She was sentenced to 4 months in jail, and could receive up to 2 more years, and is facing deportation.

Why, you ask?

Because reproductive rights may exist, legal access to reproductive technologies may exist...
but reproductive justice does not exist.
And it needs to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

carnival of feminists, part trois

Directing you all over to the 3rd installment of the Carnival of Feminists, hosted by Sour Duck.

The Carnival Of Feminists is "held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Hosted by a different blogger for each edition, it aims to showcase the finest feminist posts from around the blogsphere."
Basically, it's a high-profile link dump, where feminist bloggers get to pimp themselves out (in a non-objectifying way).

Each host gets to define their own terms of feminist and their own concentration for their carnival.
This one is "1970s until now" - how 1970s feminism still plays out today, how it's changed, etc. Sour Duck also included other feminist blog posts that didn't cleanly fall under the 1970s/2000s rubric, so it's got a nice balance of just about everything you could ask for.

Definitely worth a look.
Go. Now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

the reproductive rights angle, nerve-style

The Nerve has recently released a reproductive rights special issue, with articles explaining how Feminists For Life is dangerous and notfeminist, the stigma of multiple abortions, being 'pro-choice with reservations', as well as an amazing interview with Dr. Susan Wood, former FDA Director of the Office for Women's Health, and a few other kickass articles.

They're all really worth a read, so go, read them. And here's a little teaser from the interview:

Q: Medically speaking, is this [emergency contraception/Plan B] considered abortion?
Medically speaking, it is not considered abortion. Progestin [the chemical in EC] is the same natural hormone that a woman's body produces while she's breastfeeding to help prevent her from getting pregnant. If you're comfortable with breastfeeding, you're comfortable with emergency contraception.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

annnd robertson's off the deep end (big surprise)

The citizens of Dover, PA voted out all 8 school board members who were pushing for the teaching of "intelligent design" in the school district this week.

Good, right?

Evidently, it's dooming for the poor little town, according to Rev. Pat Robertson, who warned the people of Dover of potential "disaster" in their town, and told them not to "turn to God. You just rejected him from your city."

Apparently, you can reject God from an entire city with just one election.
Who knew?


So, tonight I went to the opening plenary of the fantabulous Reproductive Justice For All: A U.S. Policy Conference that Smith College is hosting (a joint effort between the amazing Women's Studies department and Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts).

Tonight, there were three panelists:
Loretta Ross (who was one of the main kids in charge of making the March for Women's Lives in '04 such a huuuge success), Silvia Henriquez (of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health), and Karen Pearl (for those of you wayyyy out of the loop, the Interim Pres of PPFA).

It was amaaaazing.

Mainly, the discussion about using "reproductive justice" as a new way to frame the entire movement. Not just a buzzword to replace "reproductive rights" (the legal side) or "reproductive health" (the medical side), but a different avenue to take. It's not at all discounting the importance of these other ways to address the movement, and if what you concentrate on is strictly freedom of choice from a legal aspect, use "repro rights" or "pro choice." Same with "repro health." But reproductive justice takes this allll into consideration, from the human rights aspect to the accessibility differences to the cultural consciousness to the legal approach.

A fun fact: the US is one of the only countries (if not the only country) to see reproductive rights as a legal issue. Almost every other country takes the angle of human rights to ascertain women's rights. Why is it that we're so loath to acknowledge that maybe there are, in fact, human rights violations in this country?

Most of the conference's sessions are closed to the public, since the purpose of this is really to create potential policy initiatives. There are some absolutely fucking amazing people on my campus this weekend, from the remarkable panelists I listed before to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) to representatives from Planned Parenthoods all over (even Hawaii!) and from NARAL and the Women's Health Project and Third Wave Foundation and Lambda Legal and NOW and National Network of Abortion Funds and SisterSong and Sisters on the Rise and so on and so forth.
And since I'm awesome enough to be a dedicated member of Vox (Voices for Choice, a Planned Parenthood affiliated campus group), I get to be a student volunteer to "watch the door" -- basically, lay the smack down on people who try to get in w/o name tags and then sit in on the meetings, just inside the door.

Ohhhhh Smith, how I love you more and more.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

exemption from torture as a technique -- seriously?

Sometimes, I can't believe BushCo's complete disregard for human life, especially the Cheney part of BushCo.

Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.

Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

Is he serious?
Who in the world would get behind this?
Evidently, only 9 Senators are ok with torture. ("The Senate recently approved a provision banning the “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. The vote was 90-9.") I would argue that 9 Senators supporting the 'right' to torture anyone, terrorist or not, is far too many, but it's even more disturbing that our Vice President wants to make this absolutely legal.

Because, you know, this is really going to boost the world's perception of us.

Fuck it.
I'm movin' to Canada.
Who's with me?

Monday, November 07, 2005

feminists with eating disorders/disordered eating/distorted body images

Note: This is a non-link-heavy post, written so I can work through some of these ideological debates of seeing eating disorders and related problems as feminist issues.
Also, a disclaimer: In this post, it is not my intention to invalidate those male-identified or non-gendered people's experiences with eating disorders. I address myself to girls and women not because I believe they are the only ones who truly suffer from eating disorders, but because they are the most oppressed by the patriarchal beauty myth, and suffer in greater numbers from eating disorders.


I do not have an eating disorder.
I say this because I have never been diagnosed as such. I won't deny that I go through cycles where I don't eat more than 500 calories a day (if that), where I purge the calories I do eat, where I fight with myself about the prospect of eating a meal or snack or skipping it. However, I've never lost more than 20 pounds from this disordered eating, and I've never really been treated by anyone as though I were anorexic or bulimic, nor do I think I should be. I do not have an eating disorder. I simply partake in cyclical disordered eating.

Given the rest of the content on this blog, and the fact that my major at a predominant single-sex college is the Study of Women and Gender (SWaG), this is hardly the expected mindset. I should be all, "damn the Man" and "fuck the patriarchy" and "down with the beauty myth." And, in theory, I am. In practice, though, it's another story.

My being a feminist does not, unfortunately, make me immune to the widespread dissatisfaction of women with their bodies. I, too, hate my body. Well, that's not entirely true. My ass is pretty shapely. And I enjoy my surgery scar on my knee. But everything else? There's definitely room for improvement, to say the least.
And see? Even that, I know, is problematic. Seeing my body as something that needs to be improving. Wanting that waifish, bony (read: passive, unaggressive) body is purely a product of the patriarchy.
I know this.

And because I know this, I'm having an ideological dilemma. On the one hand, I have the typical eating-disorder-esque mindset of self-hatred and celery sticks*. On the other, though, I fully recognize and acknowledge that the source of the majority of the aspects of this mindset lie in the way that my mind has been socially constructed to play into the patriarchal beauty myth. I recognize these things, but I cannot change them.

Part of the reason I use this disordered eating is because I want that socially constructed impossible ideal of the 6-pack abs - the "perfect" body. I know that this body is largely unattainable, and my desire to attain this level of "perfection" plays easily into the hands of the patriarchy. But that doesn't mean that the social pressures to attain this ideal affect me any less.
But the main reason that I need these disordered eating patterns is control. It is an explicitly personal need to control my life and what happens in it. It being so explicitly personal, it almost becomes easy to dismiss it as not really part of the patriarchy, because it is my (intrinsic?) "nature" that makes me so reliant on the idea of self-control. It's not, and I know this. After all, the personal is political. And the personal, too, is largely socially constructed.
Even so.
I need that control. And no amount of feminist theory can give that to me.

So where does that leave feminism in regards to the prevention/treatment of eating disorders/disordered eating/distorted body images? Is it even relevant? Can it even be helpful?

I'm inclined to say yes, if only because I'm an idealist. But it's a conditional "yes."
Feminism, I don't think, can explicitly do anything for those already severely indoctrinated with the ridiculous bodily ideals of the patriarchy. I'm sure there are cases where feminist consciousness has brought someone out of their eating disordered life, but in my case, and in many others', understanding these social implications does not immunize you, or even seriously protect you, from the patriarchy's message that you must attempt to attain this unattainable, "perfect" body. It might allow you to deflect the more blatant indoctrination of this ideal, but I don't think that anything, really, can protect women from the subtle forms of patriarchal control over our bodies.

I do think, however, that feminism's role in this issue of eating disorders is one of prevention, of preventing the indoctrination of young girls into this distorted body image cult. There is, unfortunately, little that can be done about the women who have already been indoctrinated by the patriarchy, an indoctrination that runs much deeper than we could possibly hope to reach. But it can change for the future generations. And, really, it must.

Because I can't really go a post without linkages...
some links:
confronting bulimia, anorexia, and feminism, by jennifer wells

eating disorders: a feminist issue, by tara eastland

adios barbie, with fun feed-the-starving-model game

about-face, with stats, gallery of offensive advertisements, and more

article on somethingfishy: does society influence eating disordered behavior in women?

article on somethingfishy: feminist perspectives on eating disorders

*Stolen from a planned parenthood Love Your Body Day magnet. Oh, the irony.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

pick your battles?

(making up for lost blogging time...)

Eleanor Clift over at MSNBC has a rage-inducing article about how Dems need to "pick their battles": that is, our left-leaning elected politicians shouldn't "waste their time" filibustering Alito's nomination There are, supposedly, "bigger fights coming down the pike."

Wait, so the impending overturning of Roe v Wade and a woman's rights over her own body aren't the right battles to choose? Riiight.

Clift gets into the (increasingly Democratic) stance of pessimism, and claims that the Alito issue is an "unwinnable fight," and instead of worrying our silly heads over his taking away our fundamental rights to our own uteruses, we should worry about when John Paul Stevens, "the most liberal member of the court" steps down or dies. (He is, after all 85.)

I guess I don't understand why it is that we should ignore a fight that, by the way, we can win, just to wait for a fight that may or may not happen while the Shrub is president, a fight that, fate willing, won't happen for a while now.
Are we (as liberals) that inept at multi-tasking that we really can't fight Alito and be prepared to fight Stevens' replacement at a later date? Because, really, I'm pretty sure we're quite capable of doing so. No thanks to you, Eleanor Clift.

back-blogging #3

And, finally, stuff on Samuel Alito, Bush's newest nominee to the Supreme Court.

Fittingly, on Halloween (October 31st), Bushie nominated a rich, uber-conservative white guy to replace the moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

Almost immediately, left-wing groups and pro-choicers were speaking out against this man. Different from Roberts, and even Miers, where we waited to see if maybe, just maybe, they weren't as bad as we feared, this backlash was pretty much right off the bat.
Perhaps it has something to do with Alito's nickname, given because of his ideological similarities to our favourite Justice, Antonin Scalia (aka Asshat Numero Uno of the Supremes):

First, Democratic leaders in the Senate denounced him, from Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont (who cast a "yes" vote on Roberts, the douchebag) to Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts to, of course, my fantabulous Senators from NY - Clinton and Schumer.

Then, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced its opposition to Alito's nomination.
As did Feminist Majority, NOW, PFAW (People for the American Way), Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and, among others.

Needless to say, this guy isn't exactly well-liked.

The Washington Post put out an article explaining why Alito would likely vote against Roe.


In other news, Bushie's approval rating dropped wayyyy low this week. Nothing like pandering to the small wingnut portion of your base and pissing off the rest of the country to make your approval ratings soar.

back-blogging #2

(From October 29th)

I love me my wingnuts....

Almost as good as Pat Robertson and Focus on the Family....

Pam over at Pandagon calls him, "a Fred Phelps wannabe without the budget to travel." I call him just plain crazy. He's a psycho pastor guy from Wisconsin working in Freeport, Illinois, and absolutely hates those (ew! gross!) homosexual people.

His name: Ralph Ovadal.
His "church"*: Pilgrims Covenant Church

*I put "church" in quotes because this is the website's description of themselves: "an independent, unlicensed church which is fundamental in doctrine."
At least they're not being supported by the rest of the Christian faith.

And this, my friends, is priceless:
Fascism is a political system whereby all opposition to and dissent from the government is disallowed and crushed. Fascism is a philosophy which tolerates no deviation from an established norm, that being the dictates of a powerful elite. Fascism is opposed to the eternal, unchanging, objective law of God and is based on the subjective desires and goals of those who have the power to crush their opposition. In many Western nations, a form of fascism has taken root and presents a clear, present, and growing danger to Christian liberty and the Church of Jesus Christ. This force for evil may justly be referred to as "homo-fascism" due to the fact that those espousing and driving it have as their goal to demonize, marginalize, and silence any criticism of or opposition to homosexual acts and the sodomite agenda.

Proof of this Homo-Fascism:
-Gay-Straight Alliances in schools (indoctrinating the young'uns! Oh no!)
-The National Day Of Silence (interrupts our lives! seeing discrimination in my face! i can't handle it!)
-Protests against the Red Cross' (discriminatory) policy on not accepting sexually active gay men's blood
-of course, liberal gay bias on college campuses
-the obvious connections between all gay people and support of the Nazi/neo-Nazi movement
-the obvious connections between all gay people and support of the communist party (which, of course, is evil)

Oh, also, "PFLAG kills children." Seriously.

The best thing from the "church's" website:

And one last thing to make your blood boil:
(On the "lies" the high school GSAs are propagating:

First it was the physical violence epidemic against "GLBT" youth which, in reality, was a sodomite or lesbian occasionally getting a bloody nose for sexually hitting on a red-blooded American male or female in the locker room.

[Edited To Add]
Oh wait, there's more.
Some handy pamphlet-type things, to condemn those queers:
Is someone You Know A Bugger?

Homosexuality: The Truth (Christ Can Set You Free)

Do Homosexuals Spend Eternity in Heaven or Hell? (Hell, of course)

Rape, Murder, and Homosexuality (Obviously all synonyms...)

That's all.

back-blogging #1

(The following posts will be stuff I've posted elsewhere, but not here yet. This is from November 2nd.)


Oh yes.
Traditional Values Coalition has a new site up, "exposing the myths of homosexuality."
(Click on the banner above.)

It's absolutely fucking fabulous.
I'm sitting here, laughing my ass off at the computer screen out of the sheer ridiculousness of it.

They even have The Homosexual Agenda available (in pdf format). I know that I've always been curious as to what exactly our agenda was. It's good that these Traditional Values folks are cluing me in.
Evidently, they got this from "the homosexual magazine," Guide, published in 1987. I'd like to think that "our agenda" has changed at least a little since then. Probably as a copyright infringement, they reproduced the entire article.
It is, evidently, "a blueprint for homosexualizing our culture and demonizing opponents who are opposed to [redundant much?] the normalization of sodomy."
Also, evidently the Reverend Louis P. Sheldon knows so much about the Homosexual Agenda that he published a book on it, The Agenda: The Homosexual Plan to Change America. It still weirds me out that these crazy gays-are-evil people know more about this agenda I'm supposedly enforcing than I do.

There's a lot of shit about the "link" between homosexuals (men, of course) and pedophiles. Because, obviously, raping little children is completely comparable to having consensual sex with another adult who shares the same desires as you.

Awesomely enough, they claim that "the homosexual movement's roots in America are based in Communist ideology." Evidently, this is an evil, bad, terrible thing.
ompare "the homosexual movement" to Marxism and, of course, communism.

Also on the site:
The evils of the transgender movement. (Which, I warn you, is incredibly offensive to anyone with a conscience.)

"Proof" that gay sex (again, always male) leads to death. Nevermind that the fastest rising population of newly infected people is straight high school and college-age women. Oh no. If you're a guy, and you bang another guy, there is no alternative but for you to die. (Also, evidently, you die from "HIV infection," not AIDS...good to know that they know the basic facts of the disease...)

And, of course, who could forget the Recruitment of Children part of the Agenda?

One of the best, I think, is the comparison of "homosexual propaganda" to Hitler's propaganda. Because, of course, the inhuman massacre of millions of people is entirely comparable to promoting tolerance. Obviously.

And there's more. Explore. Be amused. It's funny.

The scary part?
These fuckers are serious.

the patriarchy, explained

I've got a paper on Cherrie Moraga (yay) to write, so in lieu of actual blogging, I'm leaving you all with a link:

Indispensable explanation of the Patriarchy (and the patriarchy) via Twisty Faster over at I Blame The Patriarchy.

This, my dears, is why i heart feminists so much.

(Go. Read. Now.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

smith college (etc): corrupting young minds and disfiguring education for decades

Been way too busy to do lots of posts, and really, I don't have time to do this one either, but this is something I just couldn't pass up.....

Oh, those damn liberal colleges....

The Washington Times' Op-Ed page yesterday ran a story by a fabulous Suzanne Fields, lamenting about how awfully liberal and gay today's colleges are getting, citing specifically Smith, NYU, and UPenn. It also makes a reference to Wells' gender-neutral language of hir/ze as more ridiculous than the "joke" of herstory instead of history.

The evil virus upon us
By Suzanne Fields
October 20, 2005

A magazine cover story about postmodern life on the American college campus depicts three monkeys in cap and gown, covering their ears, eyes and mouth, a parody of the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil caricature. But students at many colleges actually get quite the opposite. They're required to hear, see, speak and study all about evil, as long as it's the evil oppression of everybody in American society.

Parents, inoculate yourselves. It may be too late for your children.

There's an emphasis on multicultural studies and few campuses have escaped the disease, and it's not yet Halloween. The title of a course taught to undergraduates in American studies at New York University, for example, is called "Intersections: Gender Race and Sexuality in U.S. History and Politics." You might think this is a strange way to get at American history. The class spends a week analyzing the murder of Teena Brandon (aka Brandon Teena), a young woman who pretended to be a man, and includes the screening of the movie, "Boys Don't Cry," the narrative version.

The following week students study the life and murder of Tupac Shakur, the "gangsta" rapper whose rough and raw lyrics glorified drugs, abusing women and the violence that finally took his life. There's "Queer Lives and Culture," "Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora," and a discussion of the relationship of gender, race and war in Haiti through the lens of "Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism." One teaching assistant of this course describes herself as an "anti-racist queer activist feminist." That covers just about everything, except the tuition for a year at NYU, which parents shell out $40,000.

Smith College, the elite school that once was only for women, and still is, sort of, has a different problem. About two dozen women who arrived as female have become male, more or less. The Financial Times reports that some of the more traditional "girls in pearls" on campus think the new "guys" should transfer to a co-ed college. Smith has long been "gay friendly," but now that girls have become "boys" Smithies joke that the school motto is "Queer in a year or your money back." It's not a joke, and it costs $37,000 a year.

Somewhere Sophia Smith is spinning. The Massachusetts woman who left her fortune to create a college where women "could develop as fully as may be the powers of womanhood" did not have a third sex in mind. Once known for their dedication to academic rigor, Smith students voted to change the school constitution to purge all "gender-specific" language. No "she" and no "her," but an all-purpose "student." The Rev. L. Clark Seelye, the first president of Smith College, said that the study of English should produce clarity of thought and expression. Other seats of higher learning have gone farther, creating synthetic pronouns, using "hir" for "her" or "his," and "ze" for "she" and "he". You thought "herstory" for "history" was a joke.

Smith is not alone in disfiguring what passes for education. A popular introductory freshman course at the University of Pennsylvania deconstructs Herman Melville and other dead white males (if not white whales), seeking hidden meanings of homosexuality, pederasty and incest. Majors in the humanities are down, and why not? In "Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell you," author Barrett Seaman finds lots of colleges that promote gay-ity. Vassar College has a "Homo Hop" and the Queer Student Union at Williams College holds a "Queer Bash" with gay pornography, widely attended by straight students. Adrienne Rich, a lesbian poet, encourages young women to experiment with homosexuality and bisexuality.

An authentic liberal education promotes both character and understanding with a rigorous study of what Matthew Arnold called "the best that is known and thought in the world." When dead white males like Thomas Jefferson and John Milton are replaced, or must compete with popular studies about transgendered males and newly-minted homosexual heroes in classic novels, students are deprived of any trace of disciplined thought. They're doubly vulnerable when at the same time they're encouraged to indulge in undisciplined social experimentation without anchors of moral reference.

"Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Afro-American Studies, Women's Studies, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Studies," writes Roger Kimball, author of "Tenured Radicals," in New Criterion magazine, "are not the names of academic disciplines but political grievances... Parents are alarmed, rightly so, at the spectacle of their children going off to college one year and coming back the next having jettisoned every moral, religious, social and political scruple they have been brought up to believe." These studies inhibit debate, corrupt young minds and infect learning with a virus for which, like bird flu, there is not yet an antidote.

Is it just me, or does it give you a warm fuzzy feeling that conservative crazies are calling my major one that "corrupts young minds" and "disfigures what passes for education"?

You know you're doing something right when the wingnuts are frightened.... :)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

more anti-women, anti-VAWA rhetoric

From an angry post about how radical feminists are hijacking the cause of domestic violence prevention, I ended up here, at a site called "Hate Male Post," one of those crazy "men's rights" bloggers.
Normally, I just laugh these fuckers off. Because when they use words like man repellant and seriously post beliefs such as this:
1) Men don't have any rights anymore, and

2) Unfortunately, many, even the majority of rape and assault claims ARE made up, irregardless (sic) of what NOW and the gender-feminists tell us.

it makes me want to either vomit or punch a wall.

But the most recent post on this "men's rights" blog about the problems of the VAWA legislation has a teeny bit of merit (when you ignore the majority of the post, which is so anti-feminist that it gives Jerry Falwell a run for his money).
Mainly, this: that there is, in fact, an undercurrent of domestic and sexual violence against men, especially sexual, that goes almost universally unreported. While it remains that the majority of these men's perpetrators are also men, there are women violators of this as well.
I haven't studied the language of VAWA ad nauseum (or at all, really), but it seems to me that the name of the legislation -- Violence Against Women Act -- implies that it may, in fact, not extend these protections to male victims of domestic violence. In that sense, at least, it is perpetuating the underreporting of these incidents.

These men's rights' groups do have at least some relevance, then, in their pleading for VAWA to be a gender-neutral piece of legislatio. This seems reasonable enough.

So, my question is this:
Can this be done without minimizing the fact that the majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women? Would neutralizing the gendered language in the legislation make it less effective or less of a "feminist issue"?

I have my thoughts, but I'd like to hear others.

and on a positive note....

To end today's blogging session (which has been rather productive - yay!), I'll leave y'all with this:

Two weeks ago, the House passed an amendment to the federal hate crimes legislation (vote: 223-199), which "adds actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to federal hate crime laws."

And Rep. Tammy Baldwin's response (which almost makes me wish I lived in Wisconsin...almost...) :
“Gays and lesbians should not have to live in fear anywhere in the United States of America,” said Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), one of three openly gay members of Congress and the only lesbian. “Today's vote is significant both substantively and symbolically, reminding us, as Dr. Martin Luther King did, that, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice'.”



Leave it to crazy Republicans to take positive, empowering legislation and make it something for Dems to rally against.

Late last night, Sensenbrenner, (R-WI), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, submitted a "Manager's Amendment" to the bill...essentially taking away protections for equal domestic violence funding to people of color and their commmunities.

Because, you know, those women of color who get the shit beat out of them don't really deserve the kinds of (already limited) resources that us white women get. Obviously.
And besides, if this amendment makes it difficult to get through the house, it's ok, because VAWA's just funding those crazy radical feminists anyway. (note: that link is rather inflammatory and crazy right-wing, so don't click if you're not ok with your heart rate substantially increasing.)
The inevitable has happened: Roberts has been confirmed. by a 78-22 margin. Shit. (At least my senators were on the opposition...)

Now, though, I guess we have to turn our attention to the next candidate. (And given how wrong the blogosphere was about the Roberts nomination, this blogger won't be speculatin' or assuming until the Shrub officially announces whatever he announces.)

(Note: Planned Parenthood is trying to plan a nationwide Rally for Roe on October 3rd, so go here to learn more.)

more on Commander In Chief

Go forth and read Rebecca Traister's account of the NYC screening and the show itself, here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

geena davis for president

So here it is, my reaction to last night's season/series premiere of ABC's Commander In Chief. (The new show about a woman VP-turned-President, played by none other than the fabtacular Geena Davis, for those of you who aren't up on your TV references.)

First, I'll say that it didn't do what I was deathly afraid of it doing....much. While it very much emphasized her role as mother, it didn't make her out to be an uber-maternal figure. They even cast her as up on militaristic strategies, something which I admit, I wasn't expecting. So, her representation as feminine-but-not-too-feminine, and masculine-but-not-too-masculine was pretty acceptable, for an ABC show.
A very, very (positively) surprising aspect was that they didn't masculinize the role of President too much, or the power that the President has. In order to be President, Geena Davis didn't have to give up many of her "feminine wiles," and they didn't dichotomize femininity/passivity and masculinity/power too much. So kudos to ABC for that.

The Hillary references were...interesting. I know they were meant sarcastically, but the degree of sarcasm and the degree of truth weren't very discernible, so the jury's still out on that part.

My biggest problem with the show's portrayal of the dynamics of a female president (that I've hashed out so far, at least), goes along with feministing's criticism:
Why is it that for a woman to be president, a man needs to be feminized?

This happened over and over in the show, when explaining the "duties" that the new Prez's husband would have as First Gentleman (conflated with "First Lady" a couple times). His office was very pink (ew), and the major duty that I saw the former First Lady's chief of staff explaining to him was overseeing the meal preparation and the menu choices -- a very feminized task. While this by itself wouldn't be so much of a problem, the husband acts completley lost and a little disgusted by being "demoted" in such a way. For comedy's sake, they've de-emphasized the domestic role as petty, and ridiculed it as "beneath" this guy's role.

Maybe, just maybe, it'll get better. It's got a good start, at least....

Sunday, September 25, 2005

thank god i'm a new yorker....

I'm very sorry for the rest of you kids, with Senators who lack the balls to vote against the confirmation of John Roberts for Chief Justice.
Because both of my Senators rock enough to oppose the King of Question Aversion

NY Senator 1, Chuck Schumer, is, I admit, kind of an obnoxious asshole. And he's probably only opposing Roberts to try to further his career, and not because of the opinions his constituents (including me) have voiced or his own ideology. But that's ok, because he's casting a "no" vote on Roberts!

NY Senator 2, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who's not nearly as much of an asshole as Schumer, is opposing his confirmation as well.

Even though his nomination is imminent, since almost all Repubs are behind him, and the Dems are too cowardly to filibuster him (like this: "Some lawmakers and legal analysts claimed the three Democrats [on the committee] -- Sens. Patrick Leahy, Russ Feingold and Herbert Kohl -- likely supported Roberts so they would not be cast as obstructionists.") , I've got the good ones.

I *heart* my Senators. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"getting over it"

(Damn you, feminist blogosphere. You are so bad/good for my procrastination habit...)

From Jill at Feministe, I found this article By Antheia at Mad Melancholic Feminista:

"How long did it take you to get over it?"

Really, I'm trying to keep this short so I can get on with my feminist theory reading (because I <3 Angela Davis), so...I won't comment on it other than to say that it hits the nail on the fucking head.
In the words of my dad back in his hippie days...
Right on, man.
Right on.

(Psst. Go. Read it. Now.)

because all women have this choice...*cough cough*

The NY Times just published another "opt-out" revolution piece, saying basically that more women are choosing motherhood over careers.
This article focuses on women in "elite colleges" (Harvard, Yale, and the like...of course not including any women in single-sex institutions that really are quite comparable to these "elite" institutions..I somehow doubt that the majority of students in single-sex colleges would agree with this getting-an-MRS-degree thing...), and how while they're going to college and intending to get "useful" degrees in things like law and such, they "say they will happily play a traditional female role, with motherhood their main commitment."
Think outside the box, kiddles.

One (male) dean at Yale has it right, at least...
"What does concern me," said Peter Salovey, the dean of Yale College, "is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn't constructed along traditional gender roles."

I have sooo much more I could say about this, but no time to do so, so instead, I'm going to pimp out other bloggers.
Jessica at feministing
And ms. musings

i <3 the french

So, I'm realllly busy (with feminist theory reading - yay!), but I had to post some things...

First post, because I'm an athlete and I care about these things...

The French Open announced that they will now give equal amounts of prize money to men and women competitors.

In terms of prize money, the U.S. Open and Australian Open had already been paying the men and women equally. With the French Open's new policy, that leaves Wimbledon as the only Grand Slam to pay women less.

Only a matter of time before the good ol' boys club of Wimbledon catches up with the rest of the world.....

Saturday, September 17, 2005

ready to say yet another goodbye to women's repro rights?

Because it looks like we might be even more screwed now.

There're two differing accounts on this though. The first press release said that the FDA's replacement for Susan Wood, who resigned from her position as director of the Office of Women's Health because of the FDA's assholeishness about approving otc emergency contraception, was a man named Norris Alderson.
Why is this disturbing (besides the fact that they're appointing a man as director of women's health)?
Alderson has a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry from the University of Tennessee and graduate degrees from the University of Kentucky. He has worked at the FDA for more than 30 years, more than 20 of which he spent in the agency's Bureau of Veterinary Medicine.

Then, shortly after, the FDA released a second press release naming Theresa Toigo as the Acting Director of the Office for Women's Health. She doesn't seem like as much of a threat to women's reproductive rights as this Alderson character, but I don't know about you...I still refuse to trust any of BushCo's appointments that can have any jurisdiction over what I can do with my body.

Friday, September 16, 2005

yay for massachusetts!

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Legislature easily overrode Governor Mitt Romney's veto of the emergency contraception legislation that came before him last month.

Not being a voting resident of Massachusetts, why would I care about this, you ask?
For a couple reasons. First and foremost, Romney's veto came shortly after "my" governor's (Pataki - NY) veto on very similar legislation regarding EC. The two governors vetoed for similar reasons as well: both are under pressure from "pro-life" constituency to further the "pro-life" agenda; Pataki because the asshole wants to run for prez, and Romney because he claims (unlike every other politician) that he wants to make good on his campaign promises of not changing the state's abortion laws.
Second, I care because now that I'm a student in Massachusetts, I'll no doubt make friends who would need to have access to EC, even if I in my lesbian non-sexedness don't. (That is, if I ever make any straight or boy-loving-bi friends here at Smith, which I have yet to do...)

Senator Pamela P. Resor:
"Not only was his veto irresponsible, his argument was based on weak and misguided information."

Plus, the legislation went one further, and now requires all Massachusetts hospitals to offer EC to rape victims, which will actually only affect the 12 of the 71 state's hospitals that currently do not.

So, today, I give a big ol' high five to the Massachusetts legislature, and hope that the NY legislature follows its lead (even though I haven't heard anything about overriding Patasski's veto from over in the empire state yet...).

because i don't wanna...

Some other bloggers who are covering the Roberts hearings:

bush v choice, with Jessica from feministing

feministing -- roberts + everything else that's going on

Slate has a decent write-up too

Nancy Keenan of NARAL's press release on Roberts' refusal to answer questions

While DailyKos has probably the most extensive coverage of the hearings, I refuse to give them a link, for reasons obvious to anyone who's read the posts about touchy-feely hippies, sanctimonious women's studies types, and idiotic gay rights groups.

I, however, am pretty hopeless about this whole thing. We're probably never going to find out who this guy actually is, and chances are, he's going to get confirmed anyway. I'll be right there when we have to fight for a new Roe v Wade once this one gets almost inevitably overturned, but for now...give others your patronage about Roberts. Because I don't have the heart to do it.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

rule the country with an iron...hymen?

I know, I know, it's been forever since I've put anything on here. I've been a bit busy, though, what with starting at Smith last week and trying to force myself to make friends (i.e. not be an antisocial blogger who never leaves her room except for class).

But today, I finally got time to browse through my favourite feminist blogs, and I came across this gem on feministing.

IronHymen, Abstinence-Only Coolness for Girls is selling merchandise with this fabulous logo:

And buttons like this:

I want to think this website is a joke. And I'm almost certain it is. But I'm afraid to assume anything anymore...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

it just keeps getting worse...

Even though Hurricane Katrina was 2 categories lower than expected, the devastation it's caused is literally unbelievable. I could even argue that the damage that Louisiana and Mississippi have endured is worse than 9/11. There's no body count yet, so we have no way of knowing if that's comparable. But the entire city of New Orleans is pretty much gone. 9/11 only destroyed 2 buildings.

The Superdome, where those who couldn't get out of New Orleans are being held, is quickly becoming less of a haven and more of a hell.
There is open violence due to rising tempers because of the undeniable stress of the situation. People have been killed, but there are no numbers because of the violence. The bathrooms are avoided by many, and so there is human waste everywhere. And, what I was afraid of the most (and, of course, have heard next to nothing about on the otherwise decent coverage by the mainstream media): an untold number of rapes have already occurred, and at least one victim was a child. (From the NY Times)
Darcel Monroe, 21, a bakery cashier, stammered hysterically as she recounted seeing two young girls being raped in one of the women's bathrooms. "A lot of people saw it but they were afraid to do anything," she said. "He ran out past all of us."

And to make matters worse, the neo-con wingnuts are blaming the hurricane itself on the "sodomites" and "sinners" of New Orleans:
From WorldNetDaily:
"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage in a statement. "From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that opened its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same."

Not only that, they're now openly degrading the refugees and survivors, saying it's their fault that they've got nothing now, because they "chose" not to get out:
Atrios' coverage of Michael Chertoff on (where else?) Fox News:
"The critical thing was to get people out of there before the disaster," he said on NBC's Today program. "Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part."

Because the plethora of homeless and poverty-stricken people of New Orleans really had a choice. Riight.
Oh, and WND also blames the removal of the 10 Commandments from schools for the current looting in schools.
Obviously, it's not because people are desperate and have no other way to acquire necessary goods. They should of course be waiting for store employees to return to work so that they can legitimately buy said goods with the money that they no longer have, never had, or was stolen from them.

And there's nothing like exploiting the refugees' need for shelter. A lot of the more disgusting ads have been removed, but there are a good number of listings on that both men and women have posted, looking for a "stay and lay" refugee to come live with them. While the legitimate offers of temporary housing in random good samaritans' homes are touching, these are just gross:
For example:
All you Playa Haters Need Not Respond Baby, I'm a humanitarian with a sweet sweet giving soul and you ain't!

Speaking of craigslist offers of housing, perhaps a better option, instead of posting something on the internet where those living in a city under water with no electricity would never be able to read it, would be to contact people who are physically in or near the disaster area. Then, you would not only actually have the possibility of reaching people you might be trying to help, but you lose the sketchy impersonality and danger of offering up free housing on the internet.

It's times like these, though, that I wish I wasn't a poor, broke college student with no skills. Because I have no money to donate, and I have no skills (medical/other) to offer. So all I can do, really, is encourage other, not so broke people with special skills to do what they can.

why i'm going to

the anti-war demonstration in DC in September:

My older brother, Jim, who's been in the Navy for years (he graduated from boot camp in either '92 or '93, I think), is something of a pacifist. He doesn't particularly like war, and would rather avoid it, but being under a commander in chief like le Shrub, he's fully convinced that this bullshit in Iraq is necessary (at least, that's what he tells us. I'm not sure how much he believes it himself though). Not being too keen on killing other people, he entered into medical training in the Navy, and is now a certified EMT and works in the medical aspect of the Navy Reserves. (His idol has been Hawkeye from M.A.S.H. for as long as he can remember.) Since he's not too keen on fighting, he's been in the Reserves since he got in, with one very short-lived stint on Active Duty when recruitment rates were severely low and they needed to put him on AD.

He also has a hero complex. He absolutely loathes seeing his friends on Active Duty with wives and children come home in body bags. Since he has no wife and no children and, therefore, no immediate dependents, he thinks that he should be over there instead of them.
So, he put in his request to be taken off of reserve status and put on Active Duty.

He's been stationed on Coronado Island (outside of San Diego) for over 5 years now. He's being transferred to Austin, Texas in January, where he will undergo more field training before they ship him out to Iraq.

Now, granted, he's a medic, so he won't exactly be on the front lines. But this isn't exactly a conventional war where the fighting is restricted to the front lines. It's not just the soldiers that are ordered to suppress the insurgency that are being killed. Therefore, he is hardly out of danger by being a soldier with a big red cross on his uniform.

So, on September 24, I will be marching against the war, surrounded by other people with loved ones who are in Iraq, on their way to Iraq, or who have come home in body bags.
And then, I'll be participating in the mass civil disobedience action.
Because I'll be damned if I let the Shrub kill my brother.

Will you be there with me?

all i know is that those
who are going to be killed
aren't those who preside
on capitol hill
i told him,
don't fill the front lines
of their war
those assholes aren't worth dying for

(ani d)

bubble of peace

I want to apologize for slacking off on my blogging life.
Things have been mighty crazy lately, and I've been too busy packing my life up into little boxes to pay much attention to the outside world.
But now that I've taken a peek at what's out there, I'm not so sure I want to stop pretending that I can live in a bubble of peace.

I'll be getting back to my socially aware self soon. I promise.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005



I really didn't know that people could be this incredibly ignorant/stupid/ill-informed/cold/insensitive.

I guess there's some asshole named Mike Adams, an uber-conservative criminal justice professor (who somehow managed to manipulate his way into getting tenure) at University of North Carolina - Wilmington who's on a warpath to destroy the "diversity movement" on college campuses.
And silly me, I wasn't even aware that diversity was a bad thing.
Not only is he typical Republican in that he's anti-affirmative-action, but he's evidently anti-any kind of diversity at all.

This week, his beef is with transgendered people, namely UNCW's sponsorship of a film showing of Trans Generation, a documentary that follows 4 youths' gender transitions.

The "points" that he intends to bring up when he attends this film (and, I hope, subsequently gets his ass handed to him on a plate when he pisses off every feminist and transperson in the place):

1. I noticed that the Women’s Resource Center is co-sponsoring this program. Is that because they are pleased that two of the students in the film wanted to have surgery in order to become women?

2. Is the Women’s Resource Center offended by the two women who wanted to become men? Will the two new men get their new hoo-hoo dillies from the two new women? How does that work, exactly?

3. When a woman has a hoo-hoo dilly surgically attached, does that not legitimize Freud’s sexist notion of penis envy? Is that something the Women’s Center really wants to touch - figuratively speaking?

4. Is it misogyny that causes a woman to have a sex-change?

5. Is it mister-ogyny that causes a man to have a sex change?

6. In the past, UNC has spent tax-dollars to address the problem of teen self-mutilation. Why is the system now spending tax dollars to encourage self-mutilation in the form of sex-changes? Are we, a) having trouble making up our minds or do we, b) enjoy going in complete circles at tax-payer expense?

7. Most people think of someone who wants to surgically remove his or her sex organs as mentally ill. How did the diversity movement arrive at the conclusion that this is not a sign of mental illness? And how did it become a cause for celebration as we “celebrate sexual diversity” with taxpayer-funded events?

8. The last time I saw a trans-gendered person at a UNCW diversity event, she (formerly he) said (when she was a he) that he was advised by his psychiatrist to move to a cabin in the mountains. The reason was that he (now a she) was so violent and dangerous that he (now she) might hurt someone. But when he became a she by cutting off his hoo-hoo dilly, she became less angry. Does the university support hoo-hoo dilly removal as a form of anger management?

9. Have you ever considered putting a fence around UNCW and hanging up a sign that says “Welcome to the North Carolina State Zoo?”

10. If your answer to number 9 was “yes,” I know some capitalists that could help you out. Together we could sell tickets and erase some of this wasteful government spending.

a) Ok, seriously. "hoo-hoo dilly"? And you're supposed to be a grown man? Honestly, Mike. If this was an attempt at humour...I just pity you.

b) Sex changes as manifestations of self-mutilation? I don't even know how to react to that. Maybe if it made sense, I could dignify it with a response.

c) The rest of it is just stupid, with no basis in that silly little thing called "reality."
Oh, and the "zoo" comment? Is it really possible to be that intolerant and ignorant? I can't even fathom how these people can be so cold and unfeeling. Maybe it's my upbringing as a human being, but it doesn't make sense to me.

I think that the little dedication-type thing at the bottom of the page says a lot, though: "Mike S. Adams got the inspiration for this column from former Senator Jesse Helms."

Jesse over at Pandagon also does a pretty good job of calling this guy's bullshit, so you can just head over there for his commentary.

Shameless Plug, or, the friendly pimping out of lauryn from feministing

Pointing you all in the direction of Lauryn's recent post on feministing.

On August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified, making Friday the 85th anniversary of women's right to vote. To commemorate the big day, the Library of Congress has created a web-based slideshow of 448 photos documenting the suffrage movement.

The National Woman’s Party, representing the militant wing of the suffrage movement, utilized open public demonstrations to gain popular attention for the right of women to vote in the United States. Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party presents both images that depict this broad range of tactics as well as individual portraits of organization leaders and members. The photographs span from about 1875 to 1938 but largely date between 1913 and 1922. They document the National Woman’s Party’s push for ratification of the 19th Amendment as well as its later campaign for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. This online presentation is a selection of 448 photographs from the approximately 2,650 photographs in the Records of the National Woman’s Party collection, housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

(x-posted on mediagirl)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

anti-war demonstration notice

On Saturday, September 24th, two of the largest, most influential anti-war organizations in the country, United for Peace & Justice and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, will be holding a joint march/rally in Washington, DC.
The rally will start at 11am on the steps of the Washington Monument, and the march will step off at 12:30pm.

It doesn't end there, though.
UFPJ is planning an entire weekend of anti-war activities, a Peace and Justice Festival:

Events by the day:
Saturday, Sept 24th:
Anti-War March & Rally (UFPJ & ANSWER)
Rally, 11am, Washington Monument
March, 12:30pm

Operation: Ceasefire Free Concert/Music Festival
(Join Operation Ceasefire, a new coalition of concerned musicians, for a massive anti-war concert/rally at the Washington Monument on September 24th. This event will be a centerpiece of what is expected to be 4 days of enormous protests in nation's capital in support of a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from the quagmire in Iraq. The concert will bring together musical acts such as: Thievery Corporation, punk rock and independent musicians LeTigre, Bouncing Souls, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists; country music artist Steve Earle, rock and soul band the Bellrays; latin musicians Machetres, socially conscious hip-hop groups The Coup and Head-Roc; and even long time activists Wayne Kramer of the MC5, Jello Biafra and Greg Palast will be involved in this event!)
Following the march

Sunday, Sept 25th
Interfaith "Tent Revival" style Service for Peace & Justice
MC'ed by: Danny Glover
6:00pm, Washington Monument Grounds

Also, there will potentially be grassroots training offered on Sunday.

Monday, Sept 26th
Congressional Education Day (aka anti-war lobby day)
(UFPJ is organizing people from all around the country to meet with legislators and their staffs to urge them to stand up against the war. Our goal is to have 600 people meet with 100 Congressional Representatives.)
More information available when you register for the action. See above link for contact info.

Also, a thus-far-undefined mass nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience will occur on Monday.

Monday, August 22, 2005

romeo juliet and juliet

(Globe staff photo, John Tlumacki)

The Boston Globe reported last week that the two famous swans in Boston's Public Garden, named Romeo and Juliet, are in fact both female.

Some fun quotes in response to the news:

"If these two swans are happy together, they shouldn't have to have a guy," said Emma Stokien, a 15-year-old from New York. ''It's good to have the swans as a symbol of the acceptance in Massachusetts."

"I think this proves that there's something in the environment in Massachusetts," Brian Camenker, director of the Article 8 Alliance, a Waltham-based organization fighting same-sex marriage, joked in a telephone interview. ''Maybe it's the water that's causing all this lunacy."

A visitor from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., suggested that the city should try to have one of next year's eggs fertilized so that Romeo and Juliet could become same-sex parents. "I'm sure they'd probably be perfect parents."

"We should still cherish and love our swans, no matter whom they choose to swim with." (Marty Rouse, campaign director of MassEquality)

and again, women's rights in iraq

According to Reuel Marc Gerecht, former Middle Eastern specialist with the CIA, on Meet the Press yesterday, the 21st, women's rights don't really matter anyway:
It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.

Wait, wait.
You mean, women don't have to have rights in order for it to be considered a democracy?
Silly me, I thought democracy meant this:
1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

But I guess is just plain wrong.

I mean, including women as part of that group we call "people"? That would be like assuming women had as much personhood as men. And that would be just plain silly.
And women as "individual[s] within a community"? Like, giving them as much importance as the male individuals of a community? *gasp* No way!

Women aren't people. Women are second-rate versions of the real "person" - aka men. As long as men have basic democratic rights, that's all that matters. Women come second. Maybe. If they come at all.

now we're going to sic bobbitt on sex offenders?

Steve Pence, Lt. Governor of Kentucky, is suggesting that castration be examined as a possible means of "dealing with" sex offenders.

Not the best solution, there, Stevie.

Pete over at BlueGrassRoots agrees that this is a bad idea. It's nice that liberal boys agree with me in general, but Pete tends to go the way of making light of the majority of sex crimes. He claims that the category of "sex crime" is too broad, and encompasses too many "little things" like pissing in public and copping a feel at a bar/in the workplace. Ok, so maybe taking a leak in public shouldn't be considered a sex crime, but he makes it sound like it should be ok to "mistake a woman's daring glances for an invitation to grab ass." Needless to say, it's not. And, as TravisG points out in the comments, his "boys will be boys" defense is tired and overused, not to mention misogynistic and damaging.

But I digress.

The basic problem here?

Castration will not stop a man from committing some kind of violence against women - or men, for that matter.
Rape crisis centers, women's advocacy centers, and numerous academic studies have asserted time and time again that rape is about power, not sex.
Therefore, rapists (the vast majority of the time) don't rape just to get their jollies or alleviate sexual frustration. They rape to give themselves a sense of control, of power.
Chopping off a guy's dick is not going to change his desire for power or control.
In fact, I would imagine that the involuntary loss of something that itself symbolizes male privilege, and therefore power, would probably exacerbate the problem.

Of course, then there's the problem of assuming that you can castrate all sex offenders, which assumes that all sex offenders are men. Because, you know, women never rape or commit sex crimes. Duh - you need a penis to do that.

women shafted again - who'da thunk it?

I know this may come as a shock to you, but it seems that the American ambassadors overseeing the drafting of the Iraq constitution were being fececious when they claimed that women's rights were important.

Because the U.S. is so hell-bent on getting a constitution -- any constitution, it seems -- drafted and out there so that it looks like we're actually doing some good over there, my fabulous home country has "dropped its opposition to enshrining Islam as Iraq's main source of legislation in a bid to secure agreement on the text of a new constitution by a Monday deadline."

It is hardly my intention to bash Islam as a religion or a guideline for one's personal moral codes. I know, from many lectures from a few Muslim friends, that Islam isn't inherently misogynistic or anti-women's-rights (at least, no more than Christianity or pretty much any other organized monotheistic religion). I cannot, however, advocate constitutional law based on any religion, Islam included.

From the NY Times:
Maintaining secular authority over family matters is especially important to secular Iraqi women, who fear that Islamic judges will take away the rights they now enjoy under Iraqi law.

Religion is fine and dandy for one's own personal life. And it's fine and dandy for a community life, provided that every single person in said community fully believes without dissent in the tenets of the given religion and agrees fully with all the laws.
However, when you put religious moral codes into official nationwide legislation such as a constitution, it becomes a bit of a problem. Religion is personal. Religion is private. No religion has any place in any country's legislation.

And by the, "social mores" can't be used as a replacement word for "religious morals" either.
In the same MSNBC article I linked to above, there's this quote from Salama al-Khafaji, a female Iraqi member of the Shi'ite group, the United Iraqi Alliance who supports Islamic rule and, therefore, restrictions on women's equality in Iraq:
We have a lot of tribal areas where they don't like women having the same rights as men in inheritance. If you put this (in law) you would have a big mess in the country.
Iraqi society does not accept that a woman should be outside the house at night in jobs with night shifts. We've got used to it in hospitals but we reject it in other facilities.

(This woman, I think, is the Iraqi version of Phyllis Schlafly. Scary.)

Evidently, because social mores, or norms, in Iraq are "naturally conservative," it makes it ok to continue such oppression, because obviously, that's what the people want.
And in the Jim Crow era in the South, the social norms of segregation should have been left untouched, since obviously, that's what the people want.

What she's not acknowledging here is that these social norms that keep women in the house, holding only daytime jobs, and coming second in priority after the men in their lives, are dictated by men interpreting Islamic law for their own best interest.
Kind of like the social norms that kept segregation alive and well in the South were dictated by old white men opposed to positive change.

Just because something is socially accepted does not mean that it is right or in the best interest of all involved. A novel idea, I know. But somehow, I don't think I'm the first or only one to acknowledge this.

Pam has this to say about Bush & Co's flip-flopping on the importance of women's rights:
"Women's rights mean less than doing what is right for the long-term health of this country's prospective foundation. This is sickness beyond belief."

Not to mention it's probably a bit rattling to have to rush to finish a relatively important document like a country's constitution with Rumsfeld and ambassador Khalilzad breathing over your shoulder, telling you to hurry up. It's kind of like in high school, when you were the last kid left in the room for finals, and the teacher sits there and stares at you while you frantically scribble illegible paragraphs about the cold war, and feel guilty for making the teacher stay there longer. Except...this is a wee bit more important and further-reaching than your 10th grade history final.

honey, i'm home

Well, I'm back home with my parents for a couple weeks before I head off to Smith for a fresh start, which means that I'm back to internet access and a relatively dependable computer.

Even if it is crappy dial-up internet, which chafes on my patience like an ill-fitted bra chafes on my boobs.

I suppose I'll live, though.


And to start off the string of back-to-blogging posts, I'd like to start with a small sampling of fun terms I've come across in the blogosphere lately.

The following from BAM vagazine:
"Shejaculation (v): the art of female ejaculation."
"Genderalizations (n): Sweeping statements based on gender groups."

A Few Fun Nicknames for Bush:
-(always a classic) Bushie
-The Shrub

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I, and this blog, will be out of commission for a few days.

My computer, which has had almost no problems for a good 2 years, was evidently overdue for some fuckups.

It has developed some kind of epileptic/stroke-like disease that I have no idea how to control, stemming from some kind of problem with the hard drive that it won't explain to me or tell me how to fix.

So, since my access to the internet will be limited to the few times this disease is in remission or I can get to the library, I don't have time to do anything but the absolutely necessary (i.e. email), so blogging will be on hiaitus until I can get home to a more reliable computer.

Monday, August 15, 2005

scary poll

From, as part of their 100 Most Powerful Women report (separate, of course, from their 100 most powerful people, because women are hardly represented on there and, of course, are a 'special case' when it comes to that broad category of people...)

The 100 Most Powerful Women
07.28.05, 6:00 PM ET

In which fields are women held back by their gender?

Politics (32 %)
3923 Vote(s)

Business (21 %)
2616 Vote(s)

It is no longer an issue (15 %)
1835 Vote(s)

Science (8 %)
1030 Vote(s)

Being a woman helps (7 %)
804 Vote(s)

Academics (5 %)
552 Vote(s)

I don't know (3 %)
391 Vote(s)

Medicine (3 %)
351 Vote(s)

Entertainment (2 %)
250 Vote(s)

The media (2 %)
186 Vote(s)

The arts (1 %)
156 Vote(s)

Humanitarian endeavors (1 %)
100 Vote(s)

Total Votes: 12194

Do people really think that "it is no longer an issue"?
It wouldn't be so bad if that choice wasn't the third most popular choice when people take this poll. That many people -- 1,835 people, a scant portion of the population, yes - thinking that the glass ceiling has been permanently shattered is really frightening to me. Plus the 7% who answered that it actually helps - in all areas and fields of profession - to be a woman...Especially when these people who read are exactly the people we need to acknowledge the glass ceiling.....

Not to mention the fact that there isn't even an option on the poll to click "these are all still pretty inhospitable to women" or "duh, you idiots, the glass ceiling exists everywhere" makes it pretty impossible to fully acknowledge the existence of said impedimentary ceiling.

le sigh

I liked this...

found here, via kameron

(And yes, I'm blogging so much today to make up for my non-blogging past few days. I'm alleviating my guilty conscience. Let me be.)

sometimes, "pro-lifers" scare the crap out of me

Like when they want to have a float in a Halloween parade in York, PA entitled "Dr. Butcher's Chop Shop of Choice Cuts", which would feature fetuses and mutilated body parts.

Honestly, guys.
That's just gross.

I mean, I know it's Halloween and all, but.....


(Happy news: one of the biggest sponsors of the parade, which usually gets about 30,000 spectators, has decided to pull its sponsorship because of this intended float, which means the entire parade will probably be nixed. Thus, there'll probably be no scary creepy anti-choicers running around on Halloween with bloody fetuses.)